The Real Princess

Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a real princess. He travelled all over the world but could not find the real princess. There was always something about the princesses he met which was not appropriate. He was sad and came back home. One evening there was a terrible thundering storm accompanied by torrential rain. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. The door was opened and there stood a beautiful Princess drenched in water. The water ran down her hair and clothes. She was in bad shape and yet she said that she was the real princess. But no one believed her.

The queen thought of an idea to find out the truth. She told the Princess to have some rest. She went to the bedroom and told her maids to take off the bedding from the bedstead and laid a pea on the bottom. She took ten mattresses and laid them on the peas, followed by twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses. The Princess slept on the bed all night. In the morning she was asked how she slept. "Oh, very badly. I could hardly close my eyes all night. God only knows what was there under the mattresses!" She replied. She was black and blue all over her body.

The queen said that she was a real princess. A real princess could only be as sensitive to feel the pea right through so many mattresses and eider-down beds. The prince took her for his wife as for now he knew that she was the real princess.


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